Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí was founded in 1994 to protect 14,730 hectares or 36,400 acres of coral reef, mangrove swamp and marine meadow. This area of the gulf is also dotted with islands covered in forests and white sand with air that is clean and temperate; making the islands the epitome of tropical paradise. Due to the many North American expatriates and retirees settling in the nearby tourist hot spot of Boquete, it may not be a secret for long.
Flora and fauna
The Marine Park is home to many of Panama’s 900 species of birds, 1200 orchid varieties and 100 butterfly varieties. The park is known for its green iguanas, humpback whales (from August to October), hammerhead sharks, dolphins, multiple species of sea turtles on the island beaches and giant rays.
The transport hub for the gulf is Boca Chica. From here boats can be hired to bring you to the various islands.
The archipelago is only accessible by boat.
The islands are home to an astonishing array of land and water creatures; a naturalist's dream come true. The PNMGC consists of the archipelago of Islas Paridas.
There is plenty to do at Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí. In addition to scuba and snorkeling in the turquoise waters, there is renowned sport fishing to be had further out into the Chiriquí gulf, just beyond the park. Sport fishing is especially popular near Hannibal Bank, Islas Ladrones, Islas Secas, Boca Brava and Isla Palenque.
Eat and drink
"Camping" is allowed in cabins on the main island in the park, Islas Paridas. Otherwise, all kinds of accommodation exist in Boca Chica and on the backpacker-friendly Boca Brava island. Isla Palenque has an expensive resort. And Isla Saino is good for camping.